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Mental Health Department Investigates State Hospital Suicide

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  The Missouri Department of Mental Health is investigating a patient suicide at a state psychiatric facility.

Callaway County Sheriff's Office Lt. Clay Chism said the 52-year-old patient hanged himself July 18 at Fulton State Hospital. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that no foul play is suspected. But Chism  said the investigation is ongoing pending a medical examiner's report.

Mental health department spokeswoman Debra Walker said the agency is looking into whether staff members were negligent.

She said Fulton State Hospital staff members are required to see each patient's face every 15 minutes. New hires go through suicide awareness training and take periodic refresher courses.

Walker said the suicide is the first at the Fulton mental health facility in the past decade.

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